Boat Registration and Licenses in Washington DC

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Boat Registration and Licenses in Washington, D.C.

Boat titles and registrations are handled by the Washington, D.C. Harbor Patrol of the Metropolitan Police Department. They also ensure that all boats on public waters are safe and meet all regulations.

Continue reading this page to learn how to register your boat in D.C., renew your boat registration, and apply for a duplicate copy of your WA, D.C. boat registration.

Boats You Must Register in D.C.

All vessels, including kayaks and canoes must be registered in Washington, D.C.


  • Boats documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Boats from other countries kept on District waters for less than 50 consecutive days.
  • Registered boats from other states kept on District waters for less than 50 consecutive days.
  • Boats used exclusively for racing.
  • Lifeboats.

Register Your Boat in WA, D.C.

To register and title your boat in D.C., you will be required to:

  • Visit the Metropolitan Police Department's Harbor Patrol office located at 550 Water St. NW. Bring your boat's title if you've recently located to the state.
  • Complete a Application for Boat Certificate of Title/Registration Number (Form PD 330).
  • Pay a titling tax fee of 6%, a $2 title fee and a registration fee based on your boat's length (with either check or money order only).
    • See "Boat Registration Fees in Washington, D.C." below for more information.

For other boat registration situations (newly purchased, boats with liens, etc.), please call (202) 727-4582 and request information about "boat registration."

Fees to Register a Boat in Washington, D.C.

The amount you must pay to register your boat in Washington, D.C. will depend on the length of your boat:

  • Less than 16 feet: $15.
  • 16 ft to 26 ft: $25.
  • 26 ft to 40 feet: $35.
  • More than 40 feet: $60.
  • Boats without propulsion: $10.

Registration Renewals and Replacements

Boat registrations expire every year on December 31.

You can renew your boat registration online, by mail, and in person with the Harbor Master at the Metropolitan Police Department.

Renew Online

You may be able to renew your vessel registration online.

For more information, please contact the Harbor Patrol at (202) 727-4582.

Renew by Mail

To renew your boat registration by mail, you'll need to send your payment to the address located on your renewal notice.

Renew in Person

You can also drop off your boat registration renewal notice at:

550 Water St. NW
Washington, DC 20024

Replace Lost Registration

If you need to apply for a duplicate boat registration document, you must visit the Harbor Patrol office with proof of identification.

There is no cost for a replacement copy of your boat registration.

Boater Safety Courses

Anyone operating a boat in the District of Columbia is required to have a boating safety certificate. You can take safety courses either online or in person.

  • Online: Check for state-approved third party providers.
  • In person: The Metropolitan Police Department's Harbor Patrol holds courses throughout the year.

Upon completion of a boater safety course, you may also be eligible for a discount on your boat insurance.

Boater Insurance in Washington, D.C.

Although the Metropolitan Police Department does not require you to carry a boat insurance policy, you should always be covered in the event you're involved in a boat collision. You can read more about this topic at our page about boat insurance.

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